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(Author of "Signa Severa") 









THE first five poems in this collection (barring the 
Dedication) were written while the author was still at 
Eton, and, as no less than three of them wear the 
aspect of a positively last appearance, they have been 
called, in the words of so many eminent preachers, 
"Ninthlies and Lastlies." In the fifth, the reader 
will observe a definite promise not to write any more : 
this good resolution was kept for nearly a year, but 
up at Balliol the author got into a political set, and 
in June, 1907, he broke his pledge. 

Of the verse, two pieces, " Death in the Pot " and 
"The Christchurchman's Lament," appeared in the 
Cornhill Magazine, and are reprinted by kind per- 
mission of the Editor, Mr. R. J. Smith, K.C. Similar 
debts of gratitude are due to the publishers of the 
Oxford Magazine for leave to publish " Megalomania " 
and " The Window-box," and to Messrs. Alden & Co. 
for " Lines to a Lady " and " Annus Mirabilis," acts 
of homage to Isis ; three scurrilous Limericks found 
a refuge in the same hebdomadal. The fourth, fifth, 
and sixth poems recall the familiar atmosphere of the 
Eton College Chronicle ; the second and third I have 
rescued de igne rapiens, from the columns of the 
Outsider : for access to them I must return thanks to 
Messrs. Spottiswoode. 

I must apologize for the intrusion of an intolerable 
deal of prose. But when the azure binding of Eton 

days is exchanged for the dark blue horizon of Oxford, 
when the tongue cleaves to the roof of the mouth, 
and the right hand forgets her cunning, what wonder 
if the Muse, her strength brought down in her 
journey, is fain to lag behind? The four prose 
articles belong to a time when the author enjoyed 
for a term the privilege of editing the Isis, which he 
did so inefficiently that he feels sure the printer 
will never forget him. They naturally fall into the 
same class as the sister poems mentioned above. 
The "Decalogue Symposium" but I can't stop to 
explain about that now. 

The title of this book is taken from Ps. cxxxvii. 

R. A. K. 


6". Peter in Chains, 1910. 


To P. H. S. S. 

PATRICK ! if this apostate tongue, 

Loosed from the mouth's adhesive rafter, 

Not unregretfully has sung 

To Balliol's Babylonish laughter, 

Slinging about, with larger freedom, 

Its brickbats at the sons of Edom; 

If sometimes Oxford's term and Vac 

Have given me paltrier themes to hymn on, 

If somewhere my schismatic back 

Has bowed in sanctuaries of Rimmon, 

And songs that thrilled from Jordan's harp are 

Squandered on Abana and Pharpar ; 

The fault is yours ; the fault is theirs 
Who, still about our pathway flocking, 

Recall our Eton joys and cares, 

Our days of sapping, hours of socking ; 

Who dare to flaunt their College Wall 

'Neath shadows of an alien Hall. 

Prodigal, turning out my sty, 

I came across these empty parings; 

To you, before we part, and I 

Have lost, and you have won your Barings, - 

I dedicate these husks of chatter, 

(You Ve read them, so it does n't matter). 

Oxford has given me friends to choose, 
Others have sympathized at need, 

Agreed more wholly with my views, 
But you, you only still succeed, 

Without admonitory pokes, 

In understanding all my jokes. 

BALLIOL, June, jgio. 




Kvftiu Ovo^ara 














ON CAMPS - - .36 


ON RAGS - - - 44 







[Being a reminiscence of Mr. Upton Sinclair's Meat Scandals.) 

WE need no more the poisoned dart, 

No more the laden quiver, 
When Death is sold in every mart 

Beneath the guise of liver; 
Our simple faith has had its day, 

Our fond illusions totter, 
And we must turn, like things of clay, 

To rail against the potter. 

Thou cask with half-extracted bung, 

In whose recesses murky 
I did not doubt the power of tongue 

To co-exist with turkey ; 
What legend haunts about thy shape 

Unfortunately mythic 
That does not warn us to escape 

Ingredients wholly Scythic? 

O whited sepulchre to see, 

Pharisaic platter, 

To think that once I held thee free 

From all exotic matter ! 
Two months ago, or less than that, 

1 could discuss the flavour 
Of beef that ill dissembled rat 

Without a single quaver. 


But now with what vague fears of ill 

Do Egypt's flesh-pots bristle ! 
For all is grist that finds their mill, 

And most of that is gristle ; 
Employes, too, are good to eat, 

Who, at their latest minute, 
No longer fit to dye the meat, 

Will meet their death within it. 

Perhaps in this neglected pot 

Some rude forefather slumbers; 
Melpomene, bewail his lot 

In more pathetic numbers ! 
It is not mine their praise to tell 

In high heroic descant; 
Each laid within his narrow cell 

//; pate requiescant. 

ETON, June, 1906, 



(After ROSSETTI.) 

[Arising from a Notice to the effect that "School Stores" 
would in future be inexorably closed at 6 p.m.] 

"WHY did you shut and lock the door, 
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum ? 

The crowd pass by, and they hunger sore." 

" Too late ! they should have come before, 

O Adolphus!" 
(Absolve us. Heaven, absolve us ; 

Too late, too late, between six and seven I ) 

"There's one that comes and knocks at the gate, 
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum, 

And asks for a stick of chocolate." 

"Shall have the stick upon his pate, 

O Adolphus ! " 
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ; 

Rod, pole, or perch, between six and seven !) 

" He stands and shouts with all his might, 

Mrs. Cl-rke, mum, 

And the things he says are not polite." 
" No chocolate shall he have to-night, 

O Adolphus!" 

(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ; 
To-morrow morn, between six and seven /) 


"There's one that drives up grandly here, 
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum, 

In a 40 h.p. Napier." 

'"And you and 'they, and him and her, 

O Adolphus ! " 
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us; 

What does she mean, between six and seven ?) 

"He blows his horn at the gate without, 
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum, 

And he leaves his meaning in little doubt." 

41 1 care not what he has come about, 

O Adolphus ! " 
(Absolve its, Heaven, absolve us; 

She does not care, between six and seven ! ) 

"He has climbed again to his motor car, 
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum, 

And the carburetter is passing fair." 

" Come hither, leave Mr. W-lls to stare, 

O Adolphus ! " 
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ; 

Those motor-cars, between six and seven !) 

" There 's one that cries and will not stop, 
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum ; 

He lifts his lips, and he calls out ' Shop ! ' " 

" He shall not thrive, were he thrice in Pop, 

O Adolphus!" 
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ; 

Check pantaloons, between six and seven ! ) 


" Oh, he prays you as his soul you 'Id bless, 
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum, 

To take and give him a strawberry mess." 

"Sweet hour of my power and his distress, 

O Adolphus ! " 
(Absolve its, Heaven, absolve us ; 

Here } s mess enough, between six and seven /) 

"What white thing has passed in the rain, 

Mrs. Cl-rke, mum? 

I think it flies through the window-pane." 
"A lump of sugar, hard and plain, 

O Adolphus ! " 

(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ; 
Burst, burst, all burst, between six and seven!) 

ETON, June, 1906. 



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ETON, ////^ /2//^, 7906. 



As I wander dejected to look at the people elected, 
Musing the while on the crowd now irretrievably 

How consoling I find it to think how little they 'd 

mind it, 
If the refused ones knew what they escape going 

through ! 
Poor little helpless wretches the watchful pedagogue 

Up to the meagre hotel where they are destined to 

Or who, strangely accoutred, accompany him who has 

Tongues that hardly can speak into a knowledge of 

Greek ! 
There in hay-harvest weather they sit by fifties 


Inconsolably sit under the statue of Pitt 
All for what ? For a pittance, whose regular annual 

Has, I suppose, no zest but for their people at 

All for a cumbrous guerdon, distinctly akin to a 


Weighing the shoulders down, known to the world 
as a GOWN : 


All for Remove to hustle, as out through the passage 

they bustle, 

All for the dirtiest scug loudly to designate " Tug!" 
All to sit in a bully, in raiment ragged and woolly, 
On their knees on the ball under a blasphemous 

All to compete for prizes of various labour and sizes, 

Which, however they sweat, Oppidans probably get ; 
All to live in a warren, with practices utterly foreign, 
Customs skilfully furled up from the rest of the 


All to court a seclusion, in which, for fear of confusion, 
Oppidans none may know till they are ready to go ; 
All to be always reckoned incontrovertibly second, 

Never, wherever they be, rise to the top of the tree 
This, just this, is the meaning of all that boast over- 
Which you can hardly resist when you appear on 

the list. 
Thus I muse like a sceptic, adopting a slightly 


View of the state of affairs as to a Colleger's cares ; 
Yes, I am poor as a scoffer ; and if you gave me the 

Six more years to remain well, I would do it again. 

ETON, Elections, 1907. 



AT last I stop the oaten quill, 

I twitch my mantle blue, 
And turn again on Windsor Hill 

To bid the land adieu ; 
Yet 'tis not only stones and trees 

That fancy lingers on, 
For they will live in changeless ease 

When I am dead and gone. 

Masters, farewell! Yet, when I come, 

You will be here to know. 
Farewell, my friends ! Yet surely some 

Will follow where I go. 
Masters and friends are not the care 

That racks the anguished mind; 
One numbing thought alone is there 

I leave myself behind. 

Farewell, old self! For you at least 

Some change must undergo; 
The form that year by year increased, 

The mind that seemed to grow ; 
The careless brow, the hairless cheek, 

The unbeclouded eye, 
The candid tongue that dared to speak 

Before it dared to lie. 


No more amid the scent of rose 

To tell my numbers o'er 
In gardens where the water flows 

Along a flowery shore ! 
No more to see my pages turned, 

To hear my verses read, 
To feel the blush of praise unearned 

And thankfulness unsaid ! 

Upon the willows, lone and drear, 

By Isis' banks that spring, 
The harp that Thames rejoiced to hear 

Shall hush her jocund string ; 
Or, if the alien children still 

Desire a song of glee, 
In every thoughtless word shall thrill 

A heart that breaks for thee. 

ETON, fuly 26, 1906. 



CLERK in Scholastic Orders ! Can I deem 
Thy last roll called, thy final victim beaten, 

Thou passest from thy glory, who didst seem 
The most imaged in all unaging Eton ? 

Oft, like a good Praepostor, have I pounced 

On weekly truants, trembling for thy summons 

First asked thee how the Thackeray they pronounced 
Their names and titles (and they did seem 
rum 'uns), 

Then haled them from the labyrinthine suite 
Of Science, where they half forgot their panics, 

Or, lurking violets, from the coy retreat 

That still usurps your sacred name, Mechanics. 

And shall another take the Absence bill 
From anxious masters, dreading his evflui/r?? 

Another skulk behind th' unanswering grille, 
And be extreme to mark the list's lacunae? 

And can it be another form shall stand 

Amid the culprits, where they wait gazetted; 

Half Charon, piloting his ghastly band, 
Half Moses in the dark gap silhouetted ? 

That of Gaffney, the School Clerk of Eton. 


Eton shall miss thee, though another eye 
Thy wit, thy care, thy watchfulness inherit; 

Henry shall miss thee, where he points on high 
His sceptre to the Heaven he dared to merit: 

And one poor exile, when, restored awhile, 

He haunts these precincts, anciently thy bear- 
Will miss the eye that ne'er refused a smile, 

The hand that ne'er disdained to journey hair- 

ETON, July, 1910. 





[Being some account of the motives which induced certain 
gentlemen to set fire to the Stand designed for the Oxford 
Pageant of 1907.] 

(With occasional apologies to MATTHEW ARNOLD.) 

How changed is every spot man makes, or unmakes ! 

In Northern Oxford nothing keeps the same, 
And here, in Christ Church meadows, where the sun 

The Cher in summer worthy of its name, 
A mushroom growth, raised by a local agent, 

A mighty platform threatens the display 
Which uninstructed people call a pageant 

(Though that, I think, is not the proper way). 

Ladies, that punt beneath the cool-haired creepers, 

Each clutching her inviolable shade, 
Fail to observe the customary reapers 

Stand with suspended scythe in yonder glade ; 
Women they see, their hands upraised in cursing, 

Like Suffragists, beneath the eye of Heaven, 
And these, they know, are characters rehearsing 

The culminating scene in Tableau VII. 


Bumpkins, that came to hear the choir-boys carol 

From Magdalen Tower on May-day, stood and 

To see strange men in latter-day apparel 

March with umbrellas o'er the trampled sward : 
Perhaps those serried companies presented 

The loyal muster of King Charles's men, 
Perhaps, how undergraduates frequented 

Lectures ah yes ! they still had lectures then. 

Fain had I lived when Aelfred burnt the crumpets, 

Ere Oxford knew the guile that haunts the gown, 
Or when the sudden blare of Roundhead trumpets 

Would send a proctor flying round the town ; 
Or when the Magdalen fellows, rusticated, 

Begged their precarious bread o'er lawn and lea, 
Then, harmless Indolence was never "gated," 

But Time, not Indolence, has done for me. 

Come, cross, my friends, the unpermitted ferry ; 

Soon from the High will firemen's pumps come on ; 
Soon we shall have the Oxford coster merry 

Charging us, here a bobby, there a don ; 
Achilles in his tent, the pageant-master 

Shall see young Hectors raising brands on high, 
And cease his boding presage of disaster. 

Commem. is come, and with Commem. come I. 

[He plunges into the Cherwell. 
OXFORD, June, 1907. 



AMANDA ! when my window-box, 

With loving care and tea-leaves tended, 

Smiles on the Alidensian frocks 

That throng the Quad, a vision splendid, 

You wonder at my mignonette, 
My early efforts at Sweet Willum, 

And ask me, where on earth I get 
Such beauf&A himantiphyllum. 

Alas ! you should not seek to know ; 

Truth must be told, though hearts be sorest : 
They came on Wednesday, and they go 

Next Friday, to the self-same florist! 

You curl your lip, you give a stare 

Productive of regretful twinges, 
As one who in her rival's hair 

Discovers epeisactic fringes : 

" Bought for the week ? " You mark the flaw : 
" At least your Honesty has drooped ! 

Must your Adonis-gardens draw 

The long bow in the cause of Cupid ? " 


But stop each window-dressing gay 
Deserves alike your Jeremiad; 

The College hires them by the day 

From Mr. Johnson's large supply (Ad.) 

For isn't Eights Week mostly lies? 

Think you that Oxford's always stewing? 
That only hock-cup occupies, 

And man can nothing, save canoeing? 

Come up again, Amanda, ere 

The Summer Term be wholly over; 

Come up, and take us unaware, 

When more of pigs, and less in clover; 

When, daily, students read for Groups 
Under the dreaming garden trees, and 

When, nightly, undeciphered whoops 
Thrill from the undergraduate weasand ! 

OXFORD, May, 7909. 



(After KEATS.) 

RELUCTANT priestess, to whose mystic shrine 
Thy suitors come in festal garments drest, 
Yet not with festal mien, but cheeks that pine, 

And shamefast eyes, and anxious hearts distrest; 
Look not so coldly on me, sacred girl, 
While with the mirror's aid I overhaul 
The truant neck-wear, hurriedly arranged, 

The too exuberant curl : 
Or while I scan the heads on yonder wall, 
The trophies of thy victims, heavens, how 
changed ! 

Where is thine acolyte the presence tall, 

The smile that never leaves his lips for ours, 
Though in a fervid longing to recall 

Archdeacons' pleasantries, he tax our powers, 
Or jokes in Punch that thralled us long ago? 
Why lingers he in yonder mossy cell 

Amid those dishes that the lantern's screen 

Bathes in a crimson glow? 
With what Circean drug, what potent spell, 
What hyposulphate, or what hippocrene? 

Nay, but he tarries in thy temple fair, 
Over the tripod shrouding his pale head; 


What careful victim kneels before him there 

With folded hands, and gaze disquieted? 
He speaks ! I know not with what fears or hopes 
He chides him, half in comfort, half in scorn ; 
Or with what suddenness, unknown to him 

The magic casement opes 
'Mid perilous seas that beat on canvas torn, 
And Attic colonnades by forests dim. 

He calls me. Let him take me while I speak ! 

For what my presence lacks thy hand can give; 
Thy touch can bring the colour to these cheeks, 

And smooth this forehead, in the negative. 
Adieu, adieu ! Immortal is thine art, 
Thy maiden votaries need never dye, 

Those images can never lose their prime ! 

And still, as I depart, 

Thou bid'st me hope for proofs that cannot lie, 
And prints that fade not with the prints of 

MANCHESTER, October^ 1908. 



[A Study in final vowels.] 

MILTON has had his day ; 
Darwin has come to stay \ 
Most people sing or say 

Johnson his praises : 
Corunna's wild affray, 
Beethoven's works in A, 
Tennyson's views on May, 

Thunder like blazes. 

Now Old-Age Pensions free 
Dotards of eighty-three 
To wander on the spree 

Each as he pleases : 
Bishops still disagree ; 
Asquith is up a tree ; 
Every one seems, like me, 

Given to sneezes. 

Wiseacres grimly sigh, 
Saying: "We'll have a high 
Old time with that there Nigh 

Easterly crisis " : 
They may be right, but I 
Answer ; " O socii^ 
Nil desperandum, si 

Dux erit ' Sst's.' " 


Earthquakes may overthrow; 
Yes, it may even snow ; 
India don't seem to show 

Prospects of roses : 
Grayson declares it's no 
(To put it coarsely) go 
To stick to laws we owe 

Mainly to Moses. 

Aeronauts subdue 

The vast unfathomed blue, 

Which to submit, it's true, 

Sometimes refuses : 
Numbers have got the 'flu ; 
Suffragists stick like glue; 
Oxo and Sunlight Sue 

Still court the Muses. 

Journalists vainly try 
To follow one whose sly 
Moves by Great Western Ry. 

Call for a lysis-.* 
They may be right, but why 
Should we neglect to buy 

Issues of "Jsis"? 

OXFORD, January, 1909. 

This poem was written when the "Charlesworth Mystery 3 
was at its height. 



(After MILTON.) 

HENCE, vain Committee meetings, 

Of politics and social fervour born, 

Meals at the Grid, and grinds that break the morn 

Hence, peaceful punt and noisy Quad, 

To some retreat by man untrod, 

Some limbo yet impenetrate of Keating's. 

But come, my goddess that shalt be, 

Humaniores Literae ; 

Come, with lecture-haunting haste, 

And note-books cunningly enlac'd, 

Come with Hope and simple Faith 

And philosophick Shibboleth, 

And ancient History in thy train, 

Pensive, sober, and humane. 

When I rise, no punctual Dean 

Shall summon me at 1.15, 

No jealous pen the record keep 

Betwixt my Matins and my sleep. 

So to breakfast, and anon 

I rise t' attend the drowsy don, 

Telling his rosary evermore 

Of Tacit, Grote, and Diodore : 

Still will I walk, from dawn to dusk 

In raiment sordid and subfusc, 

Ever, in thought, the candid tie 

Shall be my neck's phylactery. 


And I will take, 'neath wintry skies, 

My postmeridian exercise 

To Ferry Hincksey, or the Parks, 

Now in Oxon, now in Berks, 

With an uncomplaining friend 

Discoursing wisely of the End : 

(Wherewith the nimble Stagirite 

Commenc'd his work, and said, when night 

O'ertook him prating of the McVop, 

"Let us begin" the Second Lesson). 

Then will I to my books again 

Till the whisky'd hour of ten, 

Or such time as the weary'd Progs 

Call in their base-informing dogs. 

Such life might well the Gods beseem. 

Then to bed at night, to dream 

Of Alphas struggling with a pair 

Of Categories in the air, 

Love-lorn Idealists, that seek 

Presentations most unique, 

And golfers playing, frantick souls, 

Round Copulas of eighteen Wholes. 

And ever, to delude my foes, 

Wrap me in a cynick pose 

Of intellectual despair, 

Holier than hermit's shirt of hair. 

These give me, and a score of dates, 

And I will get a in Greats. 

THE OLD PARSONAGE, ST. GILES', October^ 1909. 



[Lines suggested by an ecclesiastical advertisement.] 

QUICKLY the Church's seasons change, 

" Mutamur nos in Hits" ; 
Hasten, ye vicars, to arrange 

With Messrs. J-n-s and W-ll-s. 

See where he stands, that fervent soul, 
The Reverend Michael Dolan, 

Accoutred in a Lenten stole, 

That is not lent nor stolen ! 

His visage lit with holy fire 

Of that we make no mention ; 

It is, in fact, to his attire, 

That we would call attention. 

The band around his shoulders slim 

Is of the very purplest, 
For J-n-s and W-ll-s cassocked him, 

And J-n-s and W-ll-s surpliced. 

The sidesmen, and the wardens too, 

Who manage the collection, 
Have each an almsbag in their pew 

Of just the same complexion. 


And peeping out between their thumbs 
Both Corydon and Phyllis 

Whisper admiringly, "It comes 

From Messrs. J-n-s and W-ll-s." 

Then come, insure by telegram 

An early executing; 
Address it to " Eccl-sia, B'ham " 

And choose your Lenten suiting. 

Qitinquagesima, 1908. 




THERE once was a Cleric oh my ! 
As broad as the ambient sky : 

From S. Martin's to Queen's 

He travelled by means 
Of the Broad, as opposed to the High. 


There once was a man who said : "I 
Am a Moderate Churchman; for why? 

S. Philip, you know, 

Was inclined to be Low, 
But S. James was excessively High." 


There once was a man who said : " Stoles 
Pervert undergraduate souls." 

So he took his abode 

In the Banbury Road, 
And saved them as brands from the coles. 

OXFORD, October, 1907. 



CORYDON. WHAT, Echo, shall I find at Hartland 


Save walls abandoned long ago, and sea? 
ECHO. Go, and see. 

COR. Nay, but describe it, Echo, for thy sighs 

My roving accents quaintly parodize. 
ECH. Paradise. 

COR. How shall I reach (for wind and wave are 

Those fields untouched by harrow or by 

sickle ? 
ECH. Bicycle. 

COR. What of the beds? What portion waits the 

Lulled by the murmur of the Atlantic 

comber ? 
ECH. Coma. 

COR. What of the food? What influence supreme, 

If baby seems in pain, will hush a scream? 

ECH. Luscious cream. 


COR. And will this land, when nought that 's tender 


Yield beans and blackberries avro/^arwe? 
ECH. Or tomatoes. 

COR. What exploits, then, shall occupy my time, 
Wearied with wandering in many a clime? 
ECH. Many a climb. 

COR. Were it not best to lie on couch of clover? 

Great is the peril, lest I should fall over. 
ECH. Faugh ! loafer. 

COR. If, yet untired, I'd cool the heated limb, 

Can any panacea heal this whim? 
ECH. A healthy swim. 

COR. What then my week's expenditure, and how 

Reckoned the cost? my mind enlighten now. 

ECH. Light enow. 

COR. What of mine host ? for, if the host be rude, 

The fare, whate'er it be, is none so good. 
ECH. None's so good. 

COR. Come, Echo, thou hast visited this spot? 
I have conjectured shrewdly, have I not ? 
ECH. Have I not ! 



COR. Who dwelt with thee, where Hartland lies 

concealed ; 
Where winds, that rule in sea, spare stone 

and field ? 
ECH. Rieu, Lindsay, Speyer, Stone, and Field. 

COR. What is thy name? For Atho mountains 

make a 

Clear "H)(w, but thou art in Pindar "AX. 
ECH. R. A. K. 

September, 1907. 



(After lunch.) 

"THE placid Windrush running by 
Attracts the weary traveller's eye " ; 
So far I may with safety quote 
But not the weary traveller's throat. 
Bourton on Water ? Rather here 
We '11 drink all Burton out of Beer. 

April^ igio. 



EVER since Clough and his friends settled into 
their unpronounceable but conveniently hephthemi- 
meral quarters at the Bothie of Tober-na-vuolich, the 
reading-party has held a recognized position in the 
orthodox conception of a Long Vac. Nor would we 
attempt to assail that position, with all the associations 
that cluster round it. No doubt four months at a 
stretch is more than long enough opportunity to 
exchange fond greetings with our over-joyed relatives 
and deeply-affected retainers ; we pine once more for 
the society of a kindred age, for choice spirits who, 
like ourselves, do not view life with the obscurantist 
orthodoxy of Uncle Richard, 9r the oppressive 
heartiness of the youthful Freddy. 

The pseudo-Bohemian atmosphere born of irre- 
gular hours, much smoking, and absence of evening 
dress combines with the natural attractions of the 
lonely spot to heal the sores of our so-called civiliza- 
tion. But it is one thing to escape from the Family 
for a week or two, as a tonic ; it is another to make 
congenial gatherings the staple occupation if not the 
raison d^tre of the Long. 

It is significant that the decay of home life should 
go side by side with that of another great national 
institution, the silly season. Belfast riots and 
Limerick massacres are not the only things res- 


ponsible for this innovation. From Cambridge, from 
Stuttgart, from Yarmouth, from the Hague, we hear 
of conferences and rumours of conferences ominous 
signs of the times. The Church has long led the 
way in organizing discussions of more or less academic 
questions in solemn state. And the Peace delegates, 
if equally academic, are equally harmless. But of 
recent years these high midsummer pomps have been 
coming on with a vengeance. There will soon be no 
sort of Union, Federation, Association, Society, Guild, 
League, Church, Sect, Fad, Movement, Party, Heresy, 
Schism, Philosophy, or Conspiracy in the world which 
does not meet, with sandwiches and a whole crowd of 
reporters, and discuss the " New Movement," or the 
"Cause," in its political, religious, philosophical, 
ethical, teleological, eschatological, scientific, psy- 
chological, historical, practical, theoretical, and heaven 
knows what other aspects, for the edification of its 
own number, who are all reading papers, and the 
impassive custodians of the public Halls in which 
they disport themselves. 

This craze has bitten Oxford to an alarming degree. 
Religious, political, and social organizations are 
claiming all the spare time of our wisest and best. 
The old idea of a monastic retreat as a means of 
recouping from the scars of the world, is replaced by 
that of an immense gathering where egg-and-spoon 
races and addresses follow one another in dithyrambic 
confusion. Heartiness and holiness walk side by 
side. And in such camps and campaigns, missions 


and commissions, concerts and congresses, the time 
passes away, pleasantly enough, no doubt, but rather 
inadequately so far as the humaner letters are con- 
cerned. After all, the Vac. is meant for work. If 
dissipations in the form of clubs and festivities, 
societies and recreations, Mods lectures and Greats 
lectures, keep us too busy at Oxford to prepare 
ourselves in any way for Schools, at least let us have 
our holiday time free to repair the deficiencies. 

Nor is it only the favoured few who are threatened. 
In the world at large there is no cause so insignificant 
as to be without its conference, except perhaps that 
of burglary and that of certified insanity. In a short 
time the diary of an average Long will run thus : 

June 20 30. Congress of the Classical Associa- 
tion on the Yorkshire Moors. Professor Talkard 
read a paper on the elision of diphthongs in Greek. 
Dr. Dryasdust won the obstacle race. Further 
discussion on the elision of diphthongs. A well-spent 

July i 8. Attended Re-union of the Ethical 
Churches in North Wales. Rev. James Wassher on 
" The Spirituality of Swinburne " and " Pantheism in 
Christina Rossetti." Ethical expedition to Conway. 
Rev. James Wassher on "Why I ceased to be a 
Baptist." Record attendance of 16. Pietistic picnic 
on Snowdon. 

July 9 23. World Congress of anti-bimetallists 
at Weston-super-Mare. Count Sauwosch on " The 
slavery of Bimetallism." 


July 23 28. Went home to get some clothes 

July 29 August 1 8. Health Society's camp on 
Salisbury Plain. Dr. John P. Harker on " Hygiene : 
the new religion." Constitutional walks on the 
plain. Mrs. McFadden on "The Dignity of Diet." 
Hygienic hymns sung at night. Returned with a 
bad cold, 

August 1 8 September 3. Anti-Socialist Gathering 
in the Dukeries. Mr. Potter (late M.P.) on "The 
Constitution and the Colonies." Champagne dinner 

at the Duke of 's. Mr. Hawkins (ex-Mayor of 

Poddlebury) on " Our dear old Church." 

Sept. 3 25. Diabolists' World Congress on Isle 
of Skye. Champion feather-weight (aged 3) on " Is 
Diabolo intellectual?" During discussion that 
followed, brained the infant champion with a spool. 

Sept. 25 onwards. National gathering of stone- 
breakers on Dartmoor. 

OXFORD, October, 1907. 




(From the Journal of Britannic Studies, A.D. 2907.) 

IN several curious fragments of the so-called 
Victorian civilization we meet allusions to the festival 
observed on "Guy Fawkes" day, the fifth of the 
month November. Apparently the Guy, or Gai, as 
he should probably be called, was carried round the 
streets on a rude chariot, while the followers uttered 
incantations, and caused some annoyance by repeated 
requests for money. At the conclusion of the pro- 
cession the Gai was burned on a large pyre, beside 
which some primitive form of pyrotechnic display was 
organized. Some of the chants have been preserved 
to us ; one of them running thus : 

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, 
Gunpowder treason and plot ; 

I see no reason why gunpowder treason 
Should ever be forgot. 

And again 

Gai, Gai, 

It im* in the eye ; 
Stick im on a lamp-post 

And there let im lie. 

* There is little doubt that the aspirate did not exist in 
British at the period referred to. 


The purpose of this paper will be to throw some 
light on the origin of this interesting cult, hidden as 
it is under a mass of ignorant legend and foolhardy 

From the first, we must set aside as palpably 
aetiological the stratum of pretended history, which 
we may term the priestly myth. The well-known 
story of the man who attempted to destroy the whole 
of the Executive, is condemned at once by its inherent 
improbability and by the multitude of parallel examples 
of fabrication in the history of comparative religion. 
Even as late as the time of the seventh Edward it is 
doubtful whether the annihilation of the " Parliament " 
would have been looked upon as a national disaster. 
Nor is evidence lacking to show that the historicity 
of this incident was called in question by the early 
critics. In any case we cannot too clearly emphasize 
the fact that the mind of primitive peoples does not 
work in this way, prior to the dawn of the historic 
consciousness. But the legend is interesting as 
illustrating the rule that the new religion, as it super- 
sedes the old, saddles it with the less amiable 
characters of its own mythology, so that the simple 
earth-hero becomes an exponent of the old creed, 
obstinately setting his face against the newer rival, 
and appropriately punished. 

We must now turn to the name of the title-role. 
That the first part is connected by root with the 
Greek Gaia, or earth, there seems no reason to doubt. 
Can we assign any similar meaning to the second? 


The great majority of critics have agreed in referring 
it the Indo-European root of fax and focus. But all 
attempts to establish such connections between lan- 
guages radically different are little better than special 
pleading. It is impossible to resist the belief that we 
have here a trace of a very early totemism. We know 
that the Fox, or vulpes communt's, as we should call it 
nowadays, was regarded with superstition by the 
Britons ; so much so that in spite of frequent depre- 
dations on farmers, it was held criminal to kill or 
even maim the animal. If, as seems probable, he 
was worshipped under the cultus-title of Rainard, it 
is well-nigh impossible to resist the suggestion that it 
was applied to him in his capacity as controlling the 
powers of nature, and consequently responsible for 
the fertility or otherwise of the crops. Now if we 
combine these sources of evidence we arrive at the 
conclusion that " Gai Fox " is an earth-god of con- 
siderable antiquity, with the double-name arising 
probably from a confusion of cults. 

What then is the meaning of the elaborate ritual 
above described? The explanation is not far to 
seek. We are close to the root of all the sun-myths, 
including the legend of Pentheus. The old year, 
represented by the stubble-image, is carried out amid 
execrations and assaults of apotropaic significance, 
and finally burnt in order to secure the safety of the 
next year's harvest. The bonfire represents the sun. 
Returning then to the second dithyrambic fragment 
above quoted, we may fairly assume that the lamp- 


post alluded to has something of the same significance. 
Finally, the fireworks would appear to be an appeal 
by means of sympathetic magic to the stars as nature- 
forceSj or as controlling the destinies of men. 

One more question will naturally present itself to us. 
Was it only a senseless image of the receding year 
that was first pelted in mockery and then burnt at the 
stake ? Or may we trace a more sinister meaning in 
the silence of most ancient authors on this subject ? 
Is it possible that here we meet an actual survival of 
human sacrifice in historic and nominally civilized 
times ? Most critics have been content to scout the 
notion ; Mr. Bilgeway, in a really eloquent defence of 
the period, has argued at great length against such a 
possibility. But we must not be too mealy-mouthed. 
We must not be prepared to read into the history of 
a thousand years ago those considerations of humanity 
and gentleness which are characteristic of our own. 
On the whole, if we are to face the probabilities 
squarely, we must admit that the presumption is in 
favour of the sterner view, and that in all likelihood 
the Fifth of November was stained annually with one 
of those orgies of superstitious carnage to which 
primitive religion is too sadly liable. 

OXFORD, Nove?nber, 1907. 



"NE quis confoederationes sive conspirationes 
ineat, unde Cancellarius, Procuratores, seu alii ministri 
Universitatis, in executione officiorum suorum, se- 
cundum Statuta et Ordinationes ejusdem, impediri 
vel perturbari possint, sub poena bannitionis ab 
Universitate vel in tempus aliquod vel in perpetuum." 

Questc parole di colore oscuro vid' to scrittc in the 
widely circulated but little read pages of the Statuta 
et Decreta Universitatis Oxoniensis. So much the 
reader will have guessed from the simple if uncon- 
ventional Latinity for which that work is so justly 
famous. Deferring for the moment our perusal of its 
telling phrases, we ask ourselves : " Why do rags 
happen ? Are they all organized of malice prepense ? 
And if so, what is this diabolical secret society, which 
can turn the High into a seething mass of antinomian 
undergraduates and inexorable police ? " 

Now one thing is quite clear about rags and riots 
and mobs in general, that they arise without any 
definite notion of what they are about. It is idle to 
suppose that Demetrius and his Union wielded any 
real political power in Ephesus. It is idle to suppose 
that the Warden of Outland called out any real 
hostility from the excitable populace who surrounded 
his palace. Nor have we any ground for supposing 
that the Roman people was seriously annoyed at the 


death of Julius Caesar. There is but one explanation 
of the riot, whether people are crying " Great is Diana 
of the Ephesians " or " Less Bread, more Taxes," or 
whether they are honest enough to content themselves 
with the phrase " We will be satisfied : let us be 
satisfied." In every case, the rank and file of illicit 
assemblies consists of unattached persons who hear 
vaguely that something is afoot, and leave the com- 
fort and safety of their homes to see what it is. 

The phenomenon is of course recognized, nay, 
commonplace. If you have the courage to go out 
into the street and stare at the top of a house, or go 
down on your knees and peer into one of those 
romantic orifices with which a hygienic civilization 
has so plentifully honeycombed our thoroughfares, in 
a quarter of an hour the street will be lined, and there 
will be one or two horse-policemen, and with any 
luck somebody reading the Riot Act. If you are the 
King of Spain you can compass a similar result by 
merely taking a walk in Kensington Gardens. It 
simply comes of the unpardonable curiosity of our 
unregenerate nature. It is just the same in Belfast. 
You have at first a fairly ordinary strike, and a few 
words going. Instantly a crowd of people comes to 
see the fun ; somebody shoves some one, and his 
neighbour in making way for him falls into a police- 
man ; the policeman draws a truncheon, and there is 
a riot in a moment. All because of people who will 
not mind their own business. 

At Oxford the thing happens more easily than 


anywhere else, because Rumour painted full of 
tongues scours her day and night, and sets up her 
notices in every College porch. Word gets round 
a significant phrase ; pernotescit^ Opourai, on dit^ in 
every language we have this same feeling of an 
impersonal agency that gives our secrets to the world 
word gets round that there is a twenty-firster at 
Univ, and they are going to barricade the High ; or 
a man has been sent down from Worcester, and his 
friends are going to let off fireworks at the Martyrs' 
Memorial; instantly the clubs are depopulated, the 
Theatre languishes, books and cards are thrown to 
the winds, and an anxious crowd gathers at the 
appointed spot. If anything happens, most of them 
will join in; if nothing happens, they will melt 
reluctantly and go home. But if they had not left 
their colleges, the organizers of the mischief, some 
twenty in number, could have been gagged and bound 
by a single bull-dog. About a week later the 
authorities get official wind of it, and a posse of 
special constables parades the desolate streets like 
victors in a sacked and conquered city. 

Let it be understood at once that we have not a 
word to say in favour or even in extenuation of 
" rags." But we do say that the real offender in the 
case of a large row is not the man who is healthily 
if unpleasantly intoxicated, but the man who goes out 
in cold blood out of sheer curiosity, that most 
repulsive of vices, to help from a distance in a riot 
which he has neither the courage to start nor the 


wit to organize. When people complain that they 
were fined for just looking on at Tuesday night's 
proceedings, we feel tempted to say, "And serve 
you right." 

True, owing to an insufficiency of attendances at 
the ferial offices in Chapel, we were ourselves gated 
on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. 

OXFORD, November, 1907. 



A YEAR ago our friend Blennerhasset, of Wadford 
College, joined the Tariff Reform League. He did 
this to escape from the pesterings of the Free Food 
League ; he did not know till later that the subscrip- 
tion was double. This was all right so far as it went, 
because he never went to a meeting, and never 
received any literature, except a list of members, 
which he put up on his mantelpiece opposite the 
C. S. U. He did not find that it brought him in 
touch with the political life of the nation, and was 
secretly relieved that it did not. Unfortunately a 
political friend observed it, and offered to take him 
to a certain Conservative Club of the duller type, 
and he accepted the invitation with alacrity. He was 
so carried away by the debate (which was on the 
Labour Party) that he delivered a very incoherent 
speech on antediluvian lines which captivated the 
hearts of his audience, and the next week he was 
duly elected a member. 

From that moment he has been a changed man. 
Politics were before to him a subject strictly reserved 
for post-prandial self-expansion. He never read the 
papers, except the extracts from the Times of 1807, 
and, while it lasted, Mr. Le Queux's excellent little 
handbook on the Invasion of 1910. He knew few of 


our eminent politicians by portrait, and indeed there 
was little reason why he should; for whatever the 
mandate of the present Government is, it was not 
elected on account of personal attractiveness. He 
was not aware that the white man had a burden, nor 
what good capital could be made out of it. He had 
no idea that Cobden was a schemer, or Gladstone a, 
wind-bag. In fact, the calibre of his political know- 
ledge was typical of the classes which are quite 
content to leave their affairs in other people's hands, 
so long as those people are gentlemen. 

He has had a revulsion. No conversion was ever 
so complete as that which followed the evening when 
he stood up and testified about the Labour Party. 
He took in the Daily Mail again, and the National 
Review^ and listened to several long speeches on 
Imperial defence. He attended all the meetings of 
his club, and a good many of other clubs, and some 
of the others were so insignificant that they also 
adopted him. He went regularly to the Union, and 
although he never spoke, stayed so long that every- 
body thought he would have spoken if he had got 
the chance. In time he acquired a sort of second- 
hand notoriety which made obscure colleges ask him 
to their open debates, mainly on Female Suffrage. 
And now we may take him as a very fair representa- 
tive of the Beta Plus Oxford politician, with a blunt 
humour, and a fund of useless information about 
Deep-Sea Fisheries and the like. 

A year has rolled over his primrose-wreathed head, 



and we find him still spending his evenings at the 
clubs and at the Union. He is various minor 
officials, which make it necessary for him to send 
off a little sheaf of notes every week to a largely 
absentee population. From time to time he frequents 
a political dinner, and hears a gentleman or two who 
all but got in at the Election discoursing on the 
iniquities of the Government. Even in the Vacs, 
if he has nothing better to do, he goes and canvasses 
at by-elections. Let it not be supposed for a moment 
that all this is due to his being a Conservative ; as we 
said, if he had known the fact about the subscriptions, 
he would probably have become a Liberal or a 
Socialist, and there is no reason to suppose that his 
career would have been materially different. 

Meanwhile, we will not say that his work has 
suffered. He passed Moderations with credit, and 
even his tutors do not expect him to do well in 
History. But the result is that he never reads. He 
is hardly ever in his rooms, unless he is being the 
Hierophant of some Constitutional orgies ; and many 
of his friends have dropped him in consequence. 
He battens on the literature he read at his excellent 
public school, which he never uses except to draw 
incomplete analogies with the political situation. He 
does not broaden his mind by conversation, because 
he spends moct of his time talking to people who 
agree with him, or who disagree with him so violently 
that he has made up his mind not to be convinced. 
It is not in the least true to say that he learns how to 


argue; he would learn it six times better by going 
and listening to a Humanitarian Deist in Hyde Park. 
He lives, in short, a life of perpetual routine, which 
would be conventual if he ever enjoyed the monastic 
privilege of silence. Instead, he has got into the 
disagreeable habit of listening to other people to see 
where he can pick them up ; and at the same time 
deluding himself into the idea that it is their voices, 
and not his own, that he comes to hear every week. 

None of his relatives can understand this tendency 
on his part, but they have a vague notion that a 
young man begins to think for himself when he goes 
up to Oxford. Exactly the reverse is true : he begins 
to take other people's word for things, and reproduce 
it as his own. 

There is not much more to be said. As he himself 
said only last Friday, in addressing the Stratting Club 
on Social Reform : "There is little or no doubt that 
the people of this country take an intelligent interest 
in politics." 

Blennerhasset is going to be a stockbroker. We 
have no doubt that he will broke stocks very 
adequately. But it seems rather a pity. 

OXFORD, October^ 




I 'M sorry, but I ; m afraid the Decalogue Symposium 
must have a preface all to itself. The Decalogue was 
a literary Society in Balliol, so called because it con- 
sisted of nineteen members. The author conceived 
the idea of writing a dialogue which would provide 
one part for each member, and no more, and it was 
actually read, one summer evening, by a quorum of 
the whole Society. Unfortunately, true to the spirit 
of modern Drama, the parts were all " written round " 
the several actors, and many purely personal allusions 
will be lost on a larger audience : it can only be said, 
in the words of Hippoclides, that " it was screamingly 
funny when you saw it done." One result of this is, 
that the characters are not always quite true to them- 
selves : and the only living author introduced was 
brought in not to expound his own views (whatever 
those may be), but to provide a cloak for the person- 
ality of the present writer, who sustained the part 


Dramatis Personae : 

THE CHAIRMAN (almost any XlXth Century Liberal). 

SOCRATES. MR. B - RN - RD SH -|w. 








(Also New Women, Telephone Messengers, Bimetallists, 
Flagellants, Licensed Victuallers, Hyperboreans, Seventh Day 
Baptists, Condottieri, Little Oil-Baths, etc.). 


THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, the time is ripe. 
At this moment the don, distended with an enlarged 
edition of undergraduate fare, is reclining in his 
Senior Common-room. The pale student replaces 
the standard dietary with the less peptic alternative 
of chocolate biscuits. The Proctor 

[SHERLOCK HOLMES (contemptuously). Bunglers !] 
nerves himself for his Midianitish prowlings with a 
glass of the familiar and blushful Hippocrene. The 
rowing man carries his newly-assimilated repast to the 
hallowed silence of his dormitory. It is a time to 


speak, and not a time to refrain from speaking. I 
call on Mr. Socrates to open the discussion. 


SOCRATES. I went down lately to the Barneion, 
both to see the Procession, how they would organize 
it, and also because I thought it would be nice to get 
a walk for once in a way. And here I met Sherlock 
Holmes, disguised as a history Don, having been 

engaged for the occasion by Lady , and also his 

friend Watson, who was writing very busily in a 
note-book under some such title as "The Strange 
Case of the Burgled Biretta." As I was turning to 
go away, a plain-clothes man stepped up to me, and 
said: "Sherlock Holmes wishes to see you, Sir." 
"Very well, then," said I, "we will wait." So we 
waited to see what this would come to. 

DR. JOHNSON. Sir, if this ungrammatical babbler 
is allowed to prosecute his damnable anecdotes, I 
shall have no say in the controversy at all. 

MRS. MALAPROP. In truth, Master Chairman, you 
might ask the gentleman to be a little more Glyconick. 

THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, I bow to the voice 
of the majority; and call on Mr. Aristotle to com- 
mence a discussion, of which Mr. Socrates is like to 
debar us from the conclusion. 

ARISTOTLE (in a great hurry). As to the nature 
of Love and the parts of it, and as to the methods 
and media of it, and again as to how it originated 
and to what completion it has developed or is de- 
veloping, let the following words be spoken. 


THE MARCH HARE. They couldn't follow, you 
know, unless they were spoken. 

ARIST. There might be a mistake in the Arabic. 

THE M. H. They do follow you, though; for 
miles together sometimes. Especially the Gerunds. 
May be you 've never met a Gerund ? 

ARIST. Humour is a certain division of the base. 
Whether then Love can be other than physical, let it 
now be defined. 

HIPPOCLIDES. I am always physical. I made an 
awfully good joke once did I ever tell you this? 
You see, some other fellows and I were courting a 
young lady, and they had just brought in the tea- 
table. So, before the servant had time to lay the 
things, I did a short-arm balance on the table, and 
(graphically) waved my legs in the air. It was 
screamingly funny when you saw it done. 


Hippoclides ! with dignified ease 

Balancing upon a chair; 
Little wist he Agariste 

Saw him waving in the air. 


MR. SH-W. English people always think they are 
being funny when they talk about Legs. May I pro- 
test against the intrusion of any form of sentiment 
in this discussion ? Let 's admit at once that Man 
is still a beast ; that morality, when it is n't supersti- 
tious, is conventional. 

DR. J. What is that over there ? 


THE M. H. A heavy man trying to be funny. 

S. H. A Socialist, evidently. 

A. B. WATSON. My dear Holmes ! 

S. H. There is no mistaking the peculiar paper of 
the Fabian basis which protrudes from his left-hand 
coat pocket. A vegetarian, clearly, by his teeth, and 
a journalist by the conformation of his right thumb. 
He leads a sedentary life, and is an Irishman. 

MRS. M. It is a nasty fellow, Doctor, that must 
needs come in with his diaphragms, and tell us that 
all morality, which is not supposititious, is conventual. 

MR. S. I say, Sir, that you're no better than a 
beast when you 're in love. You think you are, but 
you are n't. 

DR. J. Sir, you throw the aegis of a philosophy 
which no one but you could adopt, over a porno- 
graphy which no one but you could appreciate. 

HIPPOC. Half-time. There will be no collection. 
Might I ask the honourable gentleman to repeat his 
statement ? 

MRS. M. He says, Mr. Sh-w is throwing the 
haggis of a philosophy which no one but he could 
adopt, over a photography which no one but he could 

S. FRANCIS. Surely, Master Sh-w, may it not be 
that Love, which exists in us poor mortals in so 
imperfect a form, is granted yet more imperfectly 
to Brother Ape and Brother Dog ? 

MR. S. I don't know anything about your brothers, 
Sir, but you 're not qualified to speak on the subject. 


In spite of being a monk, you know nothing of Love. 
You haven't the feelings of a man. 

THE M. H. No more have you. You think you 
have, but you haven't. 

S. FRAN. You say truly, brother. I am only a 
poor friar. 

MR. S. I detest humility. It is always either 
unnecessary or insincere. 

S. FRAN. In truth, I had suspected that you and 
she were something strangers. 

ARIST. How good S. Francis is ! For we call good 
that to which we despair of attaining. 

PETER PAN (yawning). I am getting tired of this. 
I do want to find out what Love really is. 

S. H. Who is that? You see it, Watson, you 
see it? 

A. B. W. That 's Peter Pan, the boy who lost his 

S. H. It must have been that incompetent fellow 
Lestrade. He never can keep anybody in sight for 
three minutes together. 

SOCRATES. Here, Adimantus, have you finished ? 
It appears, then, that Love is not entirely physical ? 

A. B. W. My dear Socrates ! I mean, it appears 

SOCRATES. And indeed, has this escaped you, that 
the further off the object of our affection is, the 
stronger does the affection happen to be ? 

A. B. W. How do you say ? 

SOCRATES. As, for instance, that a man falls in 


love with his mother-in-law rarely if at all? And 
similarly with the rest of the family ? 

A. B. W. True. 

SOCRATES. And again, after long absence, we find 
that we are more deeply enamoured, as the poet says : 

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder." 

A. B. W. It runs the risk of doing so. 

CICERO. It often seems to me, when I reflect 
upon the nature of Love, that there is something 
which produces the effect, that so far from being 
weakened in our affection by distance, we should 
appear to be more closely conjoined. And I re- 
member that I spoke very often on this subject with 
a most heavy and ornate man, Caius Brunius Jutus, 
and that he was wont to assure me that those friend- 
ships which he found most durable were those formed 
with friends he saw the least often. 

ARIST. What a perfect autobiographical style 
Cicero has ! It reminds me of A. C. . 

DR. J. Sir, the man who would write his own life 
is either afraid of the judgment of posterity, or too 
poor a creature to find a biographer. 

ARIST. Nevertheless, autobiography seems to have 
a function. For the best Art makes men appear 

better than they are; and the writings of Mr. 

make him 

A. B. W. But surely now, Doctor, you yourself 

SOCRATES (severely). Adimantus ! ! It would seem, 


then, that we are able to love those who are in the 
most distant countries? 

A. B. W. Yes, Doctor, I mean, it appears so. 


I love a girl in Damietta! 
I can't forget her! I can't forget her! 
I love a girl in Damietta 
Beneath a mango tree. 


There's a little sailor sitting 

In a cabin dark and bare ; 
There 's a widowed mother knitting, 

On a lonely London stair: 
She thinks of her boy in the offing 

So happy and so pure, 
And she knows he's safe from coughing 

With 's great Peppermint Cure ! 

SOCRATES. May we not, then, lay it down that 
Love, in so far as it is the love of some one, and not 
the love of a certain person of certain features, such 
as yellow hair or a bottle nose, but itself by itself, is 
entirely spiritual ? Or did we not admit that, there 
was a certain kind of love for those who are long 
absent ? 

CHARLES II. Sir, I protest that this is a most 
ungallant speech in the presence of the charms of 
Mrs. Malaprop. I'faith, she is like a Grace among 


MRS. M. La ! your Majesty, I am afraid 'tis not 
to myself you refer, but to my attire. You are as 
courteous as Sir Caliban. 

SIR JOHN FALSTAFF. By the Rood, now, it may 
be that I am something different made to other men ; 
but whensoever my manhood gets the better of me, 
methinks I am not entirely spiritual. 

S. H. I see, Sir John, that your mode of life is 
not ascetic. 

A. B. W. My dear Holmes ! How on earth 

SIR J. F. Indeed, it may be that I am somewhat 
given to ventriculation. But a woman is to me as 
a good pint of sack ; a shred of comfort in a vale 
of misery. 

S. FRAN. And would it be a vale of misery, Sir, 
without the women ? 

SIR J. F. Yes, thou vile cloister-bird ! Thou 
hateful anatomy, thou abominable bag of bones ! 
What? Shall I be flouted in mine old age by a 
hedge-priest, a bodkin's point, a withered stock-fish, 
that eats nothing o' Fridays ? On my conscience, 
now, if I were minded to leave this chair, I would 
pin thee to yonder wall like a moth, and pepper thee 
a little to save thee from corruption ! 

THE CHAIRMAN. Order ! Order ! This is not the 
time, and this is not the place, for the objurgations of 
Whitechapel, and the recriminations of Billingsgate. 
If you have any respect for Law and Order, if you 
wish to prosecute this discussion in the interests of 
Truth and to the furtherance of Education, I call 


upon you, gentlemen, to resist all attempts at violation 
of the laws of Assault and Battery. 

CICERO. I was just about to remark that the 
action contemplated would be in direct contravention 
of the Lex Sliggeriana "Ne quis cui endo manum 
jicito, neve intra muros conlegii, nisi ob spiritus 
animales, strepitus noctu faciatur." I think you have 
it in your Festus, gentlemen. 

ARIST. It is obvious, then, that Love can neither 
be wholly physical nor wholly spiritual. For the one 
is the love of beasts, which is revolting. But the 
second is the love of angels, which is absurd. Let us 
now decide whether it is better to love one person, or 

CHARLES II. Gentlemen, I vow it is the greatest 
honour I have ever received, to listen to such a galaxy 
of talent. But we are here to discuss Love, and if we 
are to speak of constancy to a single flame, we shall 
but be discussing marriage. For my part, I hold your 
Cupido, or god of Love, to be a more roystering 
fellow than this, wherefore he is painted with wings, 
to show that he flits from one to another ; and blind, 
which is as much as to say, that he never knows to 
whom he is dispensing his favours. Under such colours 
I enrol myself, constant to nothing, save inconstancy. 

CHORUS OF VICES (ivith apologies). 

Hullo! Hullo! Hullo! 

It's a different girl again, 
Different eyes, different nose, 
Different hair, different clothes 



Hullo! Hullo! Hullo! 

To me it's very plain, 
You Ve tickled the lady's fancy ; it 's 

A different girl again. 


The tide, whose motions own the sway 

Of yonder silvery moon, 
Returneth constant day by day 

To flood the same lagoon. 

The Sun, above the earth uplift, 

Doth swiftly ride and sure, 
But still more certain, still more swift 

Is 's great Peppermint Cure. 

CH. II. Is there any here that will deny me the 
right to a wandering love ? Truly, the very spice of 
it is, that we cannot move at night-time without the 
most dismal secrecy. 

S. H. If you take my advice, Charles Stuart, you 
will be more careful over your little games in future. 
Or must I remind you how I nabbed your pal Kit 
Wren on a similar occasion ? I think you have the 
case, Watson, under the title : " The Strange Affair 
of the Ecclesiastical Architect." 

CH. II. Gadzooks, Sir, what is Love, if it be not 
Sin ? Or who can call himself lover, that hath ever 
kept on the hither side of the Ten Commandments ? 

A. B. W. Do you think, Sir, that a man can fall 
in love without losing his virtue ? 


DR. J. Sir, he must keep his virtue, if he will fall 
in love. He cannot have the two pleasures at 

A. B. W. But may they not be the same thing? 

DR. J. Why no, Sir. A man cannot get drunk 
but he loses the pleasure of drinking, nor fall asleep 
but he loses the pleasure of lying in bed. 

A. B. W. What, then, do you think of Love ? 

DR. J. Enough, Sir; your conversation is singu- 
larly tedious. 

SAM WELLER. Quite enough for vun evening, as 
the old genelman said ven 'e gave it up, and slept on 
the landing. 

PETER PAN. I can't understand all this. Wendy 
says I am in love with her, and there can't be two 
people like Wendy. 

SOCRATES. Shall we not then say that the man 
who has spent his time in dissipations, being always 
led on from one to another, finally arrives at such a 
pitch of dissoluteness, that his own pleasures induce 
satiety ; and that thus, being as it were automatically 
gated by the Junior Dean of his own insensate pas- 
sions, he continues to indulge himself not for his own 
enjoyment, but because he has lost the power of 
relinquishing his habits ; till finally he reaches his 
end in the midst of the agathon alone knows how 
many miseries and misfortunes ? 

A. B. W. True. 

SOCRATES. It will therefore be better to retain 
a single love, and that not, as the humorists say, 


marred by marriage ? For he who marries is doubly 

S. H. Excuse me, Sir, but your remarks on this 
point seem tinged with personal feeling. 

A. B. W. Holmes, you astound me ! 

S. H. Child's play, my dear Watson. When a 
man appears in public with a large stain of pitch 
on his left temple, and in a chiton that has not been 
brushed for a fortnight, you may be quite sure that he 
has fallen out with his wife. 

DR. J. (to SOCRATES). Sir, your last remark proves 
that you are either a libertine or a liar. Had you 
been fortunate enough to arouse my interest, I should 
be curious to know to which category you belong. 

SOCRATES. I hope that it may not appear, my 
friend, that I am both ; for some hold ignorance to 
be vice. Nevertheless, we must persevere. Come, 
now, would not you yourself say that the married 
man has neither the liberty to leave his own wife, nor 
the chance of choosing another ? 

DR. J. Sir, you shall not turn me into an Echo 
for your abominable sophistries. I have a stick here 
in my hand, with which I propose to beat you. 

(Pursues SOCRATES round the table.) 

THE CHAIRMAN. Order ! Order ! I must entreat 
you, Sir, to postpone the argumentum ad baculum to 
a later occasion. 

CICERO. I think, Mr. er Clodius, that you are 
exceeding the er limit. 

S. H. Perhaps you are unaware, Samuel Johnson, 


alias Probus Britannicus, that in a quarter of an hour 
I can put Scotland Yard in possession of the facts 
relating to the authorship of the " Norfolk Prophecy." 
^SAMUEL JOHNSON sinks into a chair.) 
Our friend there, Watson, is a bully, and like all 
bullies, a coward. 

SOCRATES (faint, yet pursuing). Let this be laid 
down as a kind of frontispiece to our work. 

HlPPOC. Ou <frpovTiQ 'IinroK\i$ri. 

ALL (shouting loudly). Oh ! Oh ! Hippoclides ! 
Stop him ! Stop him ! . . . 

THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, things have gone so 
far, that we must mark a period in our deliberations. 
We will adjourn, therefore, to enjoy the refreshments 
of which the constitution of this Society and the fore- 
thought of the Vice-President invite us to partake. 
End of Scene I. 


PETER PAN (yawning). We seem to have been 
going on some time considering we have heard 
nothing new yet. 

ARIST. Yes, it would be very clever if the author 
had thought out his position at all. 

HIPPOC. I don't know; do you think it very 
funny ? One has to laugh, but I don't feel very 
much amused by it. 

SOCRATES. Well, I don't know, you know; of 
course it's awfully difficult to do that kind of thing. 
I think we shall get on all right. 


THE M. H. Gould n't we put it to the vote ? 

THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, will those in favour 
of stopping say "Aye"? 

ALL. Aye ! 

THE CHAIRMAN. Will those against say " No " ? 

MR. S. No ! 

THE CHAIRMAN. I think the Noes have it. I 
call upon Mr. Aristotle to continue the discussion of 
the question. 

ARIST. It will now be our duty to determine 
whether Love is the outcome of a similarity of tastes, 
or again the result of mere familiarity, or whether it 
implies a certain oneness of two souls. For one 
thing may be ascribed to several causes, as happened 
in the case of the man who lost his trousers at Carfax. 

CICERO. I have often wondered how it IBS that 
community of interests has so little effect in producing 
mutual affection. For I suppose there is no man 
more closely conjoined to me than that ingenious 
man Atticus, although we are immersed in these so 
great waves of the Republic, and he prefers to 
cultivate leisure. And here I find myself in dis- 
agreement with the illustrious Crassus, who was wont 
to say that he found those friendships the most de- 
lightful which were founded on community of interests. 


She's only a corps de ballet, 

Only a dancing girl, 
'Er name is only Sally, 
And I am a belted Earl; 


But I love 'er, I love 'er, 

And you can't get over that; 
And she's coming to stay for life, they say, 

In my beautiful Bloomsbury flat. 


The girl whose cheeks are ripest, 
The man whose arms are steel, 

The pallid London typist, 

The clerk who's done a deal, 

All those who say they simply 

Life's worries can't endure, 
Will find a cleanser from influenza 

In 's great Peppermint Cure. 

SIR JIGGER DE COVERLEY. Familiarity, too, is 
undoubtedly a great incentive to Love, as is proved 
by the story of a certain neighbour of mine, that 
married one who had been his foster-sister from 
Infancy. Upon which I took occasion to ask him, 
Whether his passion for her had sprung from this 
Connexion? Whereat he reply'd, That if he had 
come to know her at twenty, he would never have 
recogniz'd her Virtues till he had been too old to 

MRS. M. Nevertheless, Sir Roger, I hold that 
such intricacy does not become a young woman. 
I would not have her acquainted with any male 
society, till she should have reached years of 


SIR R. But surely, my dear Mrs. Malaprop, such 
a course would leave her no power of choosing, so that 
she would either remain a spinster till her dying day, 
or else be snapped up by the first saucy intriguer 
that sought her hand? 

MRS. M. Nay, but she should have nothing to do 
with the choosing. These violent predilections don't 
become a young woman. I would have her kept 
by her parents as straitly as Daniel in the Brazen 
Tower; and when the time came, they should 
find her an illegible husband to lead her to the 

SIR R. It was a custom among the antient 
Romans, that the father should have the controul of 
his son's choice even in the election of a wife ; in 
consequence of which, we hear very frequently of 
divorce and separations among them. And indeed 
all such restrictions seem to be contrary to Nature, 
who has order'd that the young of a beast or bird, 
when they become able to shift for themselves, no 
longer own their parents' Authority. 

MRS. M. I would have a maid at all events espue 
the company of such as were not her relatives, if it be 
only in the way of Modesty ; lest by habilitating 
herself to their Society she come to believe that she 
has a regard for them. There is nothing like a good 
long absence to test the reality of a girl's ablutions. 

SIR R. I believe there is one great difficulty that 
we all encounter in discussing this matter of Love, 
that so long as a man has no knowledge of it he 


cannot be required to give a decision ; yet no sooner 
does he become caught in the Toils, than he loses all 
his Philosophy, and vows, That no other man in the 
world ever loved as he does. 

MR. S. (to HIPPOC.). Rather boring, all this, 
isn't it? 

HIPPOC. I must say I think it 's rather rot. 

MR. S. Well, you see, they are characters, so they 
have to be introduced somehow. It does n't make 
the slightest difference to the plot. 

THE M. H. There isn't any, you know, so it 
could n't. 

MR. S. What I mean is, it makes no difference to 
the plot, in so far as there is one. 

THE M. H. You might as well say it made no 
difference to the Emperor of Timbuctoo, in so far as 
there is one. 

MR. S. I don't quite see it. 

THE M. H. Of course you can't ; it is n't there. 

SOCRATES. If then it is not necessary that either 
familiarity or common interest are needed to provoke 
Love, but rather the contrary, since 

" Potter grudges potter, and bard bard," 
may it not be true that each man carries in his heart 
the image of a single Love, and that he never can 
unclasp the locket, as it were, which contains that 
image, till he meets its fleshly counterpart ? 

PETER PAN. If you please, Sir, if I 've never seen 
her before, how am I to know her when I find her ? 

SOCRATES. There, indeed, as the poet, says, you 


have struck a point. But how are we to suppose that 
any one learns anything ? For if he has seen it, he 
knows it, and if he has not, how is he to recognize it ? 

A. B. W. Quite so. 

SOCRATES. Come, then, do you wish that we 
should question this slave here, to discover how he 
learns that which he does learn ? 

A. B. W. Let us try. 

SOCRATES (to SAM WELLER, drawing on a sheet of 
paper). Can you tell me what this is ? 

(Draws a triangle.) 

SAM. It looks rayther like a ham, Sir, as Henry 
the Eighth said, ven 'e saw his fourth vife. 

SOCRATES. That is not what I am asking. Or 
what would you call a ham, if it were without thick- 
ness, colour, taste, or smell ? 

SAM. If I vos a vaiter, Sir, I should call it pork. 

SOCRATES. Come, come, this is a triangle, is it 

SAM. I 'm villing to take anything from you, Sir, 
as the highvayman said to the guard, ven he held up 
the stage-coach. 

SOCRATES. Let the highwayman then remain as he 
is ; do you assist me in my search. And first, what 
do you say, when you see a figure which turns round 
three corners so as to arrive at the point from which 
it started ? 

SAM. I should rayther say that his last glass had 
gone the wrong vay vith him. 

SOCRATES. I fear, my friend, that the white horse 


of the myth has never carried you so far as to let you 
see the forms of all things at once. 

SAM. The Vite Horse at Ipsvich ? I can't say as 
I vos ever taken like that ; but I shall be wery par- 
tickler surprised if that 'ere wirtuous shepherd Stiggins 
doesn't get 'em before long. (A pause.) 

S. FRANCIS. How peaceful is the night ! 
Dr. J. Sir, it is as dull as the grave. When I was 
up at Pembroke, we were a nest of singing birds. 

A. B. W. Sir, Balliol has an even greater reputa- 
tion now-a-days. 

DR. J. Balliol, Sir ? I had not heard of that. 
A. B. W. It is a favourite College among us 

DR. J. Then I hope, Sir, I may never hear of it again. 
ARIST. Let it then be laid down that Love is in 
its origin doubtful, but in its manner various. For 
many marriages have been made without oneness of 
souls ; so it is likely that many onenesses have after 
all failed to come together. 

I want a little girl to love; 
I suppose it has to rhyme with dove; 
I very often flirt, but I 'm really rather hurt 

That I can't find any one to love. 

Amore peccas? quidquid habes, age, 
depone tutis auribus. A ! miser, 
quanta laborabas Charybdi, 
digne puer meliore flamma. 


Quae saga, quis te Thessalus Indicis 
magus venenis rite medebitur? 
sanare jam solum valebit, 

Sylva, tuae medicina menthae. 

SOCRATES. Has not the time come when we ought 
no longer to discuss the aspects of Love and its 
limits, but rather see if we cannot discover itself in 
itself what it is, and for this purpose relinquish no 
clue, till like good sleuth-hounds we have run the 
runaway Eros to earth? 

S. H. You will find all the clues in the left-hand 
top drawer of the large pigeon-hole desk. They are 
marked " Moriarty." 

THE CHAIRMAN. Perhaps Mr. Hippoclides has 
some paronomasias to exude ? 

HIPPOC. I really don't know why you men want 
me to talk about this kind of thing. One can't make 
jokes, either, when one 's talking Greats shop. I 
regard love as a natural thing, like eating or drinking. 
You don't merely eat to fill your tummy ; there is a 
spiritual side, which we call gastronomy, and there 's 
a spiritual side in the other game too. Excess in 
either case is bad for one. One should n't mix one's 
attachments any more than one's liquors ; and of 
course one probably has a favourite dish a paropso- 
nema, you know. It seems all right till you begin to 
border on licence. 

SIR J. F. 30,000 in fourteen years ! Oh, 'tis 

* An allusion to the now forgotten Licensing Bill of 1908. 


CICERO. What ! the heresy of the Cyrenaics, 
what ! the false doctrine of the Epicureans, which to 
some persons indeed are pleasing as a cloak for lust, 
to wise and temperate men however are nauseating 
and repulsive ; what ! shall philosophy refused by the 
general consent of humanity be thus carelessly intro- 
duced into our argument ? Shall chastity, shall 
self-respect, shall moderation, and again and again 
shall respectability, which I myself have practised 
assiduously during so many years, be taken from us ? 
But, O Hippoclides, take from us Love, take from 
us family affection, take our children, pledges of 
connubiality, take the most sacred name and office of 
wife, take from us all pleasures and indulgences, but 
leave us, oh leave us our respectability ! For I have 
long been persuaded that this is the only meaning of 
all those tastes and appetites known as sensuous, not 
that we should be able to exploit them to the full, 
but rather for the very purpose that restraining them 
and keeping them down we might acquire the re- 
putation of being honest, to our own satisfaction, and 
so that we could safely cast vice in the teeth of our 
political opponents. And here I find myself in 
disagreement with the illustrious Caesar. 

CH. II. The lousy Puritan ! 

SAM. That, sir, is what I should call a wery good 
speech. Nothing like a few descriptive epithets, as the 
bargee said ven they asked him vere he vent to school. 

PETER PAN. What is the use of Love if you're 
not to fall into it? 


S. FRAN. Surely, masters, there is something 
better to be said for Sister Love. I have heard an 
old tale, with which, if it be not wearisome, I would 
fain tell you my meaning. For, as I was told, when 
the Creator left all the beasts in the garden of 
Paradise, He implanted in each a little of the Divine 
Love ; wherewith the creatures praised Him, not 
knowing why, and took delight in the propagating 
of their kind, in ignorance that this delight sprang 
from the drawing together of those two sparks of the 
Very Flame of Desire. And it came to pass, after a 
time, that the beasts grew jealous of Man, because 
he was the fairest, and had most delight. And when 
he would not hear them, the serpent (for he was the 
most misshapen of all) tempted them to eat of the 
tree of Knowledge. And behold, when they ate 
thereof (the history of which is set down in the first 
book of Moses), Man found out that the joy he took 
in Love was not as the joy of eating or drinking, 
which are but lusts of the flesh, and he recognized 
the spark of Love which was in him from the first. 
And from that time men have never been content to 
love with their bodies, as the beasts, for they knew 
Love to be of the soul ; yet they might not join soul 
to soul by reason of the encumbrance of the mortal 
part. So ever since, evil men, that know not self- 
discipline, have tried to drown that spiritual flame in 
excess of fleshly lust ; but true lovers still draw 
together and kiss with their lips, knowing all the 
while that their desire is to kiss with the lips of the 


soul, and confessing " quia hospites sunt et peregrini 
super terrain." 

PETER PAN. I thought a kiss was a thing to keep 
needles out of your hand ! 

DR. J. Sir, it is a thing to bring a sword into your 

HIPPOC. By the way, have you heard what Adam's 
telephone number was ? 

THE M. H. You oughtn't to speak till you're 
spoken to. 

SIR ROGER (ignoring the last remark). I agree 
with the Reverend gentleman in much that he has 
said. His meaning, if I apprehend him aright, is 
that all Love has a spiritual principle or element in 
it ; and further, that the spiritual part, like the 
physical, is eager to join itself with another soul, 
though it know such union to be impossible. But 
while I agree with his Psychologick, I hope he will not 
accuse me of discourtesy if I take exception to his 
Teleology. He would have us believe that all the 
refinement of affection, all the aetheriality of the 
human Passion, is not the direct gift of an All-Wise 
Creator, but a Machination on the part of our enemy 
the Devil. His attitude is that of Laocoon : " Timeo 
Danaos et dona ferentes." Yet this apperception of a 
heavenly or celestial meaning I take to be the 
Charter of Humanity, and the justification of the 
existence of that Being, Whom atheists and agnosticks 
deny. And hence I derive the fact, that Love, which 
is a virtue of the soul, can be practis'd like other 


Virtues ; we do not, like beasts, become helpless as 
soon as we see one of the other sex, but rather 
consider the object of our Attentions, Whether she 
be worthy, Whether within the prohibited degrees, 
What fortune she possesses, and so forth. After such 
examination, we allow our love to have its way, and 
encourage ourselves to overlook any defects that may 
at first sight have excited our Distaste. Even to the 
last we keep some kind of reserve, and do not ratify 
the decree of our Sentiments till she have pronounc'd 
her consent ; that if she be unwilling, we may be able 
to aver truthfully, That the refusal causes us no great 
Disappointment ; thereby saving our own dignity and 
her feelings at once. 

SAM. And if you found she vos a vidder, you 'd do 
well to emigrate vithout say in' any thin' more about it. 

MRS. M. I little thought, gentlemen, that I should 
come to this meeting to have nasturtiums cast on my 
unfortunate position as the relic of Mr. Malaprop ! 

S. H. Excuse me, Madam, but a lady who is 
actually encouraging the advances of a lover under 
an assumed name can hardly feel aggrieved at a casual 

MRS. M. And what if I have cherished an un- 
requited affliction ? What if I have indulged a passion 
malodoreuse ? Are you a wizard or an oculist, that 
you penetrate my family Arcadia, and tell the com- 
pany that I marmalade under an assumed name ? 
There are many lovers who before now have assumed 
an Abed-nego. 


S. H. A long shot, Watson ! Allow me to draw 
your attention to the brooch the lady is wearing, 
marked "L.L." It is new, hence it does not belong 
to her first courtship. 

SOCRATES. And if such a person come into our 
city, bewitching us by discovering secrets, and bring- 
ing vexatious accusations, we shall compliment him 
as a truly divine and wonderful personage, and having 
anointed his head with oil, whether Tatcho or some 
other variety, we shall send him on to another city. 

As to the question of Love, I know not what I 
shall say. For I have suffered a most unusual thing ; 
to wit that the other speakers should not all have 
contended for obvious untruths. My Pythagorean 
friend has said much that seems to me to be true. 
For the soul, when it has passed through the period 
of ten thousand years, is carried round the circum- 
ference of the heavens at a furious pace, together 
with other cars without number 

[S. H. (dreamily). Blaze at the tyres, Watson! 
They've no right to travel without.] 
(The whole party gradually go to sleep as S. proceeds.) 
and each soul that remembers those beautiful 
things which it has seen, not beautiful at one time 
and not at another, but true essence essentially 
existing itself by itself for all time, whensoever they 
see any semblance on earth of the heavenly beauty, 
rejoice and become enamoured of it, and are 
astonished at its divinity. And having seen Beauty 
itself without accidents of any kind, they will recog- 


nize it wherever they see it; for it will be equal in 
respect of clearness in all its copies, just as a thing 
printed is in all its copies equally distinct. 

ALL. Good heavens !* 

SOCRATES. And hence we shall no longer consent 
to keep to a single love, but rather worship it whenso- 
ever we see it, and try to engender it mutually in the 
object of our regard. To love one is indeed like 
admiring one wise man and not another, or worship- 
ping one god and not several. 

I can't exactly count them, for they're all so much 

And each would like to marry me ; they always 

call me Mike : 
They're all so very pretty that I don't know what 

to do, 
How can I marry one of them, and jilt the twenty-two ? 

CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Can this type-writer write 
Greek ? 

MR. S. No. 

CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Then I shan't say any more. 

PETER PAN. I want to say how grateful I feel to 
the old gentleman who looks like Smee for explaining 
what Love really is. Of course it's awfully fascina- 
ting, but 

SOCRATES. But what especially ? 

* The copies of this dialogue used in the original and only 
reading were typewritten and duplicated by an amateur ; and 
some of them were rather wanting in distinctness. Still, the 
Society need not have been rude about it. 


PETER PAN. Do you say Love is physical, or 
entirely spiritual ? 

SOCRATES. Nothing else than this. 

PETER PAN. What, then, to give a person a thimble, 
is not this physical ? 

SOCRATES. Certainly. 

PETER PAN. And parents thimble their children, 
do they not ? As for instance our mother Wendy 
thimbles me? 


PETER PAN. Then the love of a mother is 
physical ? 

SOCRATES. Least of all. 

PETER PAN. It appears then, in spite of what we 
said, that a thimble may be the sign of a spiritual 

SOCRATES. It appears so. 

PETER PAN. Let us look at it in this way : Is not 
a thimble the expression of a desire to be close to 
a person ? 

SOCRATES. What however ? 

PETER PAN. And spiritual love is an appreciation 
of the reflection of perfect beauty in a single person ? 

SOCRATES. At least we said so. 

PETER PAN. And does that make us want to give 
them a thimble ? 

SOCRATES. By the dog, the nurse-maid, I think so. 

PETER PAN. What ? Does the man who admires 
the waterfall on that account throw himself in ? 

SOCRATES. He does not run the risk. 


PETER PAN. And the man who admires the 
volcano, go and touch the flames ? 


PETER PAN. Then why should admiration or 
reverence for beauty cause us to go as close as 
possible ? 

SOCRATES. I am blessed, as the saying is, if I 

PETER PAN. Then there can be spiritual love, 
which is not merely admiration of the beautiful ? 

SOCRATES. I suppose so. 

PETER PAN. It is not then necessary to love 
spiritually every beautiful person we may meet ? And 
that doodle-doo over there* needn't love all the 
twenty-three ? 

SOCRATES. It seems to follow from our admissions. 

PETER PAN. Of course I don't know much about 
these things, but I think Love is a great big adventure, 
and if you do it over and over again you may have 
more experience, but it 's not nearly so exciting. And 
I 'm going to marry Wendy ! 

SOCRATES (to THE MARCH HARE). What shall we 
say then, O Lagos ? Have we anything to say against 
this argument, or do we submit ? 

THE M. H. You 've got a smut on your nose. 

THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, time is advancing. 
In a short while the clock will be groaning in the 

* At the performance, the Chorus of Vices executed his part 
in a life-like imitation of the common and rather throaty 


long-drawn agonies of a quarter-past nine. The gated 
aristocrat prefers the scrutiny of the porter to a cir- 
cuitous and Satanic inroad on the paradisiac gardens 
of St. John's. The politician will be remembering, 
too late, the flesh-pots of the Canning or the revolu- 
tionary orgies of the Russell. The don attempts to 
speed the departure of the High-Table guest by subtle 
allusions to efflagitant pupils or long neglected Collec- 
tion papers. May I makQ my own the words of the 
preacher ; " There is a time to keep silence, and 
a time to speak " ? From what I have said you will 
see that the occasion is of the former class. 

ARIST. Whether, however, a man and a woman 
love each other in the same way mutually, or whether 
he in one way and she in another, I have a pretty 
long speech to make. 

CH. II. Gentlemen, I vow I have never till now 
theoriz'd for a whole hour. Let us be something 
short in our conclusion. 

HIPPOC. I do bar any more Greats shop ; the 
place has been an absolute Megalopolion for hours. 

SIR J. F. And I, gentles, have a marvellous great 
craving for refreshment. 

SAM. It seems to me that the next time this 'ere 
distinguished gathering gets together to discuss Pan- 
Anglican subjects, ve might have a little friendly talk 
about drink. Ve should be more at home arguing 
there, as the young feller said ven his friend told him 
to go and tell that to the 



SIR ROGER. With regard to the mutual feelings of 
a man and a woman, I have often felt that the chief 
glory of her love was Sincerity, and of his, Constancy. 
For the woman is little tempted to find another 
attachment, but the man pleases himself. And this 
Virtue is specially prais'd in a poem quoted by the 
illustrious Mr. Walton, in his Book of Fishes : 

" But contrary, the constant Cantharus 
Lives ever constant to his faithful spouse ; 
In nuptial duties spending his whole life, 
Never loves any but his own dear wife." 


The fish that swim in the stream, tra la, 

Have nothing to do with the case ; 
My wife has a horrible dream, tra la, 
Of a grand matriarchal regime, tra la ; 
She's in Holloway now for a space, 
She's in Holloway now for a space; 
And that's what I mean when I say that I wish 
My wife was n't blessed with a face like a fish ! 
Tra la la la la, tra la la la la, 
My wife's got a face like a fish. 

ARIST. But come now, we must admit that a 
father loves his son in one way, and the son his 
father in another. For things affect one another not 
in the same way, as in the case of the punt which 
ran into the eight. 

MR. S. The constancy of the man is his desire 
for private property. The fervency of the woman is 


her desire to be possessed. Being the weaker 
creature, she likes what she can get. 

THE M. H. Is that a joke? 

MR. S. Look here, are you writing this, or am I ? 
You seem to think you were meant to be a Natural 
Man ; but you 're only a natural. 

THE M. H. And you seem to think you were 
meant to be a superman ; but you 're only a super. 

(MR. S. faints in his chair. The rest crowd round 
him. ) 

S. H. Quick, Watson, brandy! 

(He turns out the light. A moment later it is 
turned iip again, and HOLMES is discovered drawing a 
document out of ARISTOTLE'S pocket.} 

S. H. Here, gentlemen, I have seventeen separate 
arguments on the nature of love, which this gentlemen 
has stolen from Socrates ! (Sensation.) 

S. H. (continuing). If you would just blow your 
whistle, Watson, Lestrade will be here in a minute or 
so, and we can hand our man over to the proper 

ARIST. Let so much be said 

S. H. I have to warn you that anything you say 
will be used as evidence against you. 

MRS. M. I am sure we are all very grateful to you, 
Mr. Holmes, for the defection of this plot. May 
I offer you a dish of tea to-morrow afternoon ? 

S. H. With the greatest pleasure, Madam, My 
friend, Dr. Watson, usually accompanies me 

MRS. M. I hope he will come too. 


A. B. W. I think I could get my neighbour to 
take on my practice. He is accustomed to it by 

MRS. M. (to DR. J.). Will you come too, Doctor ? 

DR. J. Madam, I shall be delighted. 

MRS. M. Then we shall be a marron glace. 

CICERO. I hope Mr. er Smee will recover his 
property. Gentlemen, good-night. 

S. FRANCIS. Truly, S. James is wise in his counsel 
concerning the tongue. We had better have spent 
this evening in our beds. 

SOCRATES. And so I sat for the rest of the night 
drinking liqueurs in great comfort, while the others 
went home. And in the morning, having shaved my 
beard as my custom is, I kept a roller in the front 

THE CHAIRMAN. The House will now adjourn.